The Alpha Male Fallacy – Why Humans Are Not Chimps with OLLI-UO

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Explore the social intricacies that connect us with our primate counterparts.

This is an in-person program. A recording of this presentation will be available. A link to the recording will be posted here on March 29, 2024.

Join Dr. Michel Waller for a look at the intriguing parallels between non-human primate social hierarchies and our own human dynamics. Until recently, terms like “alpha” and “beta” were confined to the realm of non-human animals, describing their societal roles within rigid hierarchies. Dr. Waller delves into the recent shift that associates these terms with males showcasing masculine traits, leadership qualities, and sexual prowess. But here’s the question: Is this application truly fitting? Challenge your preconceptions and reconsider the appropriateness of these terms in our understanding of human social dynamics.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER:
Dr. Michel Waller, with a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Oregon, brings over 20 years of extensive experience in researching and teaching in the field of primates. His field studies include chimpanzee/human interactions in Senegal and bonobo/human interactions in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. Dr. Waller studies primate socioecology and behavior to better understand the spectrum of factors that have shaped early human evolution. His research has focused on ranging behavior, territoriality, aggression, and tolerance. Dr. Waller is currently an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Central Oregon Community College.

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